The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it will reopen the voters register for one day, tomorrow, as proposed.
The exercise, which will take place in all the district offices of the EC in all the regions from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., is intended to give an opportunity to those who qualify but who, for one reason or another, were unable to register during the recently held registration exercise.
This is in fulfilment of the electoral guidelines in Ghana that stipulate that a person may vote, provided his or her name is in the certified register at least 60 days before the elections.
It is expected that the process will be completed to meet the guidelines to enable the new batch of applicants to vote in the December 2020 polls.
Meanwhile, the EC has called on stakeholders in the electoral process to put the country’s interest above all others by supporting ongoing interventions by the commission towards a transparent, free, fair and credible general election.
While assuring the public that the EC had competent human resource capable of delivering on its constitutional mandate, its Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, said the commission required cooperation and constructive criticisms from other stakeholders, especially political parties, to succeed.
“As a commission, we must unequivocally state that the EC recognises the sacrosanct mandate bestowed upon it in facilitating the election of the leadership for our country. It is not a responsibility we take lightly or casually,” she said.
Speaking at the Let the Citizen Know series at the EC Headquarters in Accra last Monday, Mrs Mensa entreated all stakeholders to focus on “what we collectively need to do to keep our country on the right footing before, during and after the elections”.
“I assure you that we are focused and committed to conducting free, fair, credible, peaceful and transparent elections on December 7, 2020,” she emphasised.
She described the processes to get a credible register for the elections as critical to the sustainability of Ghana’s democracy.
She, therefore, underscored the need for a collective resolve by all actors in the electoral space to commit to peace as they addressed challenges in the system.
Mrs Mensa used the event to provide updates on the issues that arose from the just-ended voters register exhibition exercise and measures the EC had taken to correct the anomalies.
It had been alleged by some political actors during the exhibition that the EC had hatched a plan to pad figures in some parts of the country.
For instance, it was alleged that the register had mysteriously swelled in Asawase in the Ashanti Region by some 907 additional names.
Responding to that claim, the EC Chairperson said the registration process was all-involving, transparent and watertight, so there was no way anyone could deliberately add names and go unnoticed.
She insisted that all names found in the register were those of “actual human beings who have their unique biometric details captured and are thus verifiable”.
“The system of registration set up was such that registration would only be done within a particular date and time, from June 30 to August 6, 2020, and between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on each of these days,” she said.
Mrs Mensa also described as false an allegation that the EC had abandoned the de-duplication process meant to detect multiple registrants.
“The process of de-duplication and biometric identification had been the bedrock of the EC’s information technology (IT) system. Without de-duplication, the register will not contain unique individuals only; without de-duplication, it would not have been possible for amendments to be done, as an applicant needs to be confirmed for amendments to take place using his or her biometric details — their fingerprints and facial features,” she said.
She added that the process of adjudication, which was a joint effort among the commission, the political parties and civil society organisations (CSOs), was made possible because of the de-duplication process.
“It is, therefore, preposterous for one to suggest that the de-duplication process was abandoned, especially when the de-duplication system has the capability to de-duplicate 20 million records in two weeks,” she explained.